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The Canadian Forces (CF) introduced the Distinct Environmental Uniform (DEU) in the late 1980s. Members of the naval, air, and land forces received uniforms distinctive to their service or "environment". While the term "DEU" refers to the different environmental uniforms, in general usage it refers to what is more properly known as "No 3 (Service) Dress".

Sea element personnel were issued a "navy blue" (actually a tone of black according to Canadian Forces Dress Instructions) double-breasted, six-button jacket and trousers, and white peaked cap. For the summer periods, an optional white uniform may be worn; it consists of a white tunic with closed stand-up collar, and with black shoulder boards for officers; white trousers; white web belt for the trousers; and white socks and shoes. Officers' and non-commissioned members' uniforms are identical, differing only in insignia and accoutrements.

The following are the different categories of naval uniforms in Canada:

No. 1 (Ceremonial) DressEdit

  • No. 1 – Naval dress uniform with medals, swords, etc.
  • No. 1A – Naval dress uniform with medals only
  • No. 1C – White high-collar uniform, with medals
  • No. 1D – White high-collar uniform, with ribbons only

No. 2 (Mess) DressEdit

  • No. 2 – Navy blue mess uniform (mess jacket, tuxedo style trousers), authorized white (tuxedo) shirt, hand-tied black bow tie, white vest (blue vest for "mess undress") or black or other branch cummerbund, black oxford shoes, miniature medals are worn; for officers gold lacing on the trousers. Tailcoats for captains and above.
  • No. 2A – As per above with white mess jacket.
  • No. 2B – Normal service dress, however with a black bow tie instead of the neck tie, oxford shoes and ribbons only (without medals). Worn by personnel not in possession of mess kit, which is purchased at the member's expense.
  • No. 2C – Shipboard mess order. Like 3Bs, however, with a cummerbund (black for sea ops trades) and without ribbons, specialist skill insignia, and name tags. Referred to as "Red Sea rig."
  • No. 2D – Canadian Forces Standard (the midnight blues) which was worn by all members of the CF, during the unified uniform period (1970 to 1986). Is the same as Air Force No. 2.

No. 3 (Service) DressEdit


A lieutenant in 2007

Also called a "walking-out" or "duty uniform", it is the military equivalent of the business suit. It was the standard uniform for appearing in public (hence the moniker "walking-out dress"). The Navy has an optional white summer uniform with white high-collared tunic.

  • No. 3 – Like No. 1A, however, without medals, ribbons only.
  • No. 3A – White long-sleeve shirt with neck tie and black trousers. (Worn indoors when an occasion allows the removal of jackets for a more casual work appearance or with headdress when moving between adjacent buildings within the confines of DND property.)
  • No. 3B – White, short-sleeve shirt, with ribbons, specialist skill insignias, and name tag, black trousers and black oxfords. White trousers and white oxfords may be worn during summer dress months.
  • No. 3C – Black wool sweater worn with the long sleeve shirt with neck tie.
  • No. 3D – White, short-sleeve shirt, specialist skill insignias, and name tag, white trousers and white oxfords. (Tropical uniform)

This uniform is the same as No 2B (Mess) Dress when the shirt and tie is replaced with a white shirt and bow tie, or the No 1 (Ceremonial) Dress that includes ceremonial web or sword belt and sword, medals and other service specific accoutrements such as gloves.

No. 4 (Base) DressEdit

When DEU was introduced, Naval personnel were issued No. 4 (Base) Dress, which consisted of a jacket and trousers similar to old CF work dress but in black. It was worn with a white dress shirt — open-necked or with necktie — or with the Naval blue work shirt.

This uniform has since been phased out and replaced with the No 5 (Naval Combat) Dress.

No. 5 (Naval Combat) DressEdit

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Two Canadian sailors on board HMCS Algonquin in 2006

Originally specialized uniforms for wear in an operational theatre, they have now superseded No. 4 uniform for comfortable everyday wear in garrison.

  • No. 5 – Navy combat jacket, with beret (or baseball cap), trousers, "high top" sea boots (essentially steel-toed Gore-Tex combat boots), and naval combat shirt.
  • No. 5A – Same as above, without naval combat jacket.
  • No. 5B – Same as above, however, with naval combat shirt sleeves rolled.
  • No. 5C – (no longer authorized) Same as above, with navy blue wool sweater.
  • No. 5D – Same as above, however, with naval (dark blue) shorts, socks and sandals. (Tropical uniform)

Ball caps (with unit’s name and designator) and berets are authorized for wear with Naval Combat Dress.

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